On July 17th…

(Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled by William S Dorn.)

Harrington Bird’s “Isinglass Winning the Derby”, from The Encyclopedia of Sport (1897)

July 17, 1888: Silver Blaze won the Wessex Cup. [SILV]

From our drag we had a superb view as they came up the straight. The six horses were so close together that a carpet could have covered them, but half-way up the yellow of the Mapleton stable showed to the front. Before they reached us, however, Desborough’s bolt was shot, and the Colonel’s horse, coming away with a rush, passed the post a good six lengths before its rival, the Duke of Balmoral’s Iris making a bad third.

July 17, 1888: Holmes told Colonel Ross that Silver Blaze had killed John Straker. [SILV]

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1892)

“My dear sir, you have done wonders. The horse looks very fit and well. It never went better in its life. I owe you a thousand apologies for having doubted your ability. You have done me a great service by recovering my horse. You would do me a greater still if you could lay your hands on the murderer of John Straker.”

“I have done so,” said Holmes, quietly.

The Colonel and I stared at him in amazement. “You have got him! Where is he, then?”

“He is here.”

“Here! Where?”

“In my company at the present moment.”

The Colonel flushed angrily. “I quite recognize that I am under obligations to you, Mr. Holmes,” said he, “but I must regard what you have just said as either a very bad joke or an insult.”

Sherlock Holmes laughed. “I assure you that I have not associated you with the crime, Colonel,” said he; “the real murderer is standing immediately behind you!”

He stepped past and laid his hand upon the glossy neck of the thoroughbred.

“The horse!” cried both the Colonel and myself.

July 17, 1889: An inquest into the death of Eduardo Lucas was held. [SECO]

A Coroner’s Inquest (“Living London”, 1901)

All that day and the next and the next Holmes was in a mood which his friends would call taciturn, and others morose. He ran out and ran in, smoked incessantly, played snatches on his violin, sank into reveries, devoured sandwiches at irregular hours, and hardly answered the casual questions which I put to him. It was evident to me that things were not going well with him or his quest. He would say nothing of the case, and it was from the papers that I learned the particulars of the inquest, and the arrest with the subsequent release of John Mitton, the valet of the deceased. The coroner’s jury brought in the obvious “Wilful murder”, but the parties remained as unknown as ever.

 


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